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Gareth Southgate labels England fans a 'joke' after Harry Maguire boos

Gareth Southgate labels England fans a 'joke' after Harry Maguire boos
Image Credits: Getty Images

England emerged as 3-0 winners against the Ivory Coast on Tuesday, and while it was a relatively comfortable performance, the game was marred by boos towards Manchester United captain Harry Maguire.

Serge Aurier's early red card helped make the game easier for the Three Lions, with Ollie Watkins, Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings all getting on the scoresheet, yet it was still a frustrating game for many, especially for Maguire.

Boos were heard across sections of Wembley Stadium when Maguire's name was announced at the start of the game, as well as when he made his initial touches on the ball.

This reception surprised plenty of the England players, along with boss Gareth Southgate himself.

The Three Lions coach was keen to speak out about the incident after the victory, defending the centre-back, who let his confident performance do the talking instead.

Speaking after the game, Southgate said "I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke."

"What he's done for us, the way he has performed for England has been phenomenal. I don't get it. We're either all in this together or we're not."

He added "You don't boo an England player regardless but when he's played at the level he has and put the performance in for us like he has, it should be total commitment behind him."

"So I don't get that at all, for his performance, pretty faultless really."

"He stepped out from the back really well for the first goal and was involved in the second as well."

"The team is totally united, we recognised everyone has difficult moments but he's a top player and he'll come through it."

When questioned whether the ones booing were really England fans, Southgate replied that they were, claiming "They are real England fans and I think some are influenced by whatever, whether that's social media or I don't know if that's players that played previously, who are influencing opinion."

"Obviously the club situation is very difficult but he's in an England shirt", with Southgate stating that he remembers how England players were also booed in the past, yet he 'never got it'.

He concluded by saying "I don't get how it's going to make anyone play any better, so fans should always get behind their team."

The Manchester United captain has had a difficult season at club level, with United struggling in the race for UEFA Champions League football, and the 29-year-old has been at fault for certain goals, while coming out with some questionable statements after games, especially about other players' performances.

However, it does come as a surprise that his club performances have led to a negative reception from his country's fans, especially since he has been very consistent for England.


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